pizza carbonara

PIzza Carbonara

One of the things my husband, Chris, and I like to cook together at home is pizza (recipe here and here). It’s quick and easy to make and allows us to customize and be creative with the toppings. When we have time, we like to make our own pizza dough, but when we’re on-the-go, like this weekend, pre-made dough from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods does the trick just fine.  Just roll the dough and add toppings and it’s ready to go in the oven.

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mushroom and sun-dried tomato bruschetta

We Americans often think that bruschetta is the mixture of tomatoes, garlic, and basil on a slice of toasted bread. Bruschetta, from the Italian word bruscare, meaning to toast or burn, actually refers to the thick slices of grilled bread. Often served as a snack or appetizer, bruschetta is traditionally prepared by rubbing the bread with garlic and drizzling it with olive oil before toasting it over hot coals.  Then the bread is topped with a simple mixture of tomatoes and fresh herbs.  It is an easy way to showcase the excellent quality of freshly-pressed olive oil as well as a way to preserve bread that is beginning to get stale.

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pesto pizza with chicken, mozzarella, and sun-dried tomatoes

Making gourmet pizza at home is easier than you think . . . and a lot of fun, too! The beauty of making it yourself is that there’s more flexibility so you can add all your favorite toppings and it’s usually less expensive than at the pizzeria. After a few tries . . . you’ll probably be hooked and won’t want to wait for your pizza to be delivered!

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rosemary orange olive oil muffins

I don’t often make regular-sized cakes. It is well-documented here that I prefer to make cupcakes, muffins, or other miniature-sized desserts. I find them to be more portable and, as a result, easier to serve at social gatherings. Also, I love how cute they look and that they come out of the oven in individually-sized portions. However, I decided to make a “proper” cake when I ran across this recipe since I had featured olive oil muffins not that long ago. So why did I post a picture of muffins at the top of this post, you ask? Where’s the cake? Well, read on…

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meyer lemons: pasta with lemon, olive oil, and goat cheese

The meyer lemon is a key ingredient in this easy, yet delicious pasta dish. In less than 30 minutes and with only a few ingredients, you can make this totally satisfying meal.  It is another versatile dish that can be served simply as is with a side salad or a piece of bread, or dressed up with some chicken breast, grilled shrimp or salmon.  Lemon thyme, parsley, or basil would also make great additions to this pasta, not only for added flavor, but for color, as well.  The meyer lemon, less acidic and sweeter than regular lemons, shines through and brightens the flavor of this no-cook sauce and the goat cheese adds a tanginess as well as creaminess.  This recipe is a good one for me to have in my repertoire of quick and easy meals since it’s a good one to make especially after a long day at work and what feels like an even longer commute home.  It really can’t get any easier that this to prepare a home-cooked meal.

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tuscan mashed potatoes


I was inspired to cook mashed potatoes using olive oil instead of butter after I tasted the rich and creamy Olive Oil Smashed Potatoes at Birreria, the rooftop beer garden at Eataly in New York City. These Tuscan mashed potatoes have a great flavor from the olive oil, roasted garlic, and rosemary. Obviously, using a good quality extra virgin olive oil is the key to this recipe. Omitting the cream will result in a healthier dish, that is both vegan and gluten-free, with a more distinct olive oil flavor.

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roasted radishes with radish greens


Today’s dish showcases beautiful homegrown radishes from my garden.  Radishes, one of the easiest vegetables to grow, are also one of the most nutritious root vegetables and a great source for Vitamin C and calcium.  When eaten raw, radishes are crunchy and has a sharp, pungent flavor.  However, when cooked, radishes become mellow and lose their spicy zing.  For this recipe, the radishes are first roasted, then their greens are added and the whole thing is finished with butter and lemon.  Prepared this way, radishes lose their crunch, but instead, takes on crisp, yet tender texture.  Their flavor is reminiscent of roasted turnips.  The greens, which are slightly bitter, retain their peppery zip and they make a great substitute for arugula.  Roasted radishes make a great side dish for roast chicken or a grilled steak. Continue reading

polenta tart with goat cheese and slow roasted tomatoes

polenta tart with goat cheese and slow roasted tomatoes | daisysworld.net
One of the things I really like about blogging is interacting with people who share my interest in and passion for food.  I follow many food blogs to gain inspiration and to learn from other cooks and bakers.  For example, the idea of combining polenta and tomatoes came from a fellow blogger, Lizzy, who shared with me her recipe for soft polenta and tomatoes.  I would have never thought of that pairing on my own. Polenta, which is made from ground corn, is a very versatile ingredient. It can be served soft, like a porridge, or firm, usually cut into slices. Polenta can be served plain or with added ingredients like herbs and cheeses. I recently discovered that it could also be used to make crusts for tarts.  I ran across this recipe for polenta tart with goat cheese and tomatoes from the Whole Foods Market website and I knew that this would be perfect with slow roasted tomatoes. Continue reading